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Update – 24 January 2018
Apple have revised their stance on white labelled apps and are now more lenient, provided that a restaurant publishes the app to their own app store account. Mobi2Go is therefore still in the business of making apps for your restaurant, and our sales team are here to talk to you about the features you want to make your app unique.

At WWDC in 2017, Apple announced some major changes to how they are managing their App Store, and this will have a large impact on the future of restaurant apps.

The background is that Apple have been struggling under the weight of millions of apps for years. It’s become harder and harder to find apps in the app store.

So Apple is now cracking down on white labelled apps, apps that have shared functionality (such as ordering, bookings, feedback, loyalty) and only differ in content (menus, locations, branding).

This is not just true for restaurants, it’s also the case for all industries, from events (SummitSync, doubledutch, CrowdCompass), to giving (Pushpay), and even to app making tools (GoodBarber). Apple is pushing towards single industry “container apps”, customised branded apps, and web apps (TechCrunch).

What’s a restaurant to do?

Restaurants now have the following options for their app.

Container apps means you no longer have your own app, and instead share your ordering app with other brands inside a single app. If you’re interested in this approach please get in touch with your customer success rep.

Customised branded apps are apps that have unique features to distinguish them from other apps. At the moment it’s unclear what makes an app unique enough for Apple to approve, so we’ll keep working with Apple on this. Customisations will of course come at a cost, building unique features will take planning, design and development time. Mobi2Go can work with you on this or you can work with another app development partner since Mobi2Go’s online ordering can be embedded inside another app with single sign on, just like it can be embedded inside another website.

Web apps are apps created by saving a website to your homescreen. Mobi2Go can offer this functionality to all restaurants.

This may be hard news to take, as apps are important to market your brand. But they definitely aren’t everything, and it’s important not to lose sight of your goal to take more digital orders and to grow your business. We still see the vast majority of Mobi2Go orders through the web. Mobile web takes the majority, and is increasing, and desktop web takes the more valuable orders on average. In the last month we saw the following order spread across our platforms:

44.3% web (mobile)
38.4% web (desktop)
13.2% app (iOS)
4.1% app (Android)

If you’re thinking of mobile ordering please get in touch with our sales team, or contact your customer success representative. We’re here to help your business get the most out of online ordering, to grow your brand and grow your revenue.